Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Comparing Trump to Paron

For John, BLUFThe Musical, Evita, was wonderful.  The reality was awful, and what followed was worse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Such comparisons fundamentally misunderstand Latin American populism.

An Opinion Piece from The Wash Post, by Professor Ernesto Semán, 20 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

It’s en vogue for enraged liberals to compare Trumpism to Argentine Peronism, wielding the analogy as a warning about the potential apocalypse that they fear is about to engulf us.  Most recently it was Larry Summers, a member of the Democratic establishment for decades, who took to Twitter to declare:  “I worry about the Argentinization of US government.”

Summers sent the tweet after President Trump accused Democrats of treason and the media reported on the president’s childish wishes for a military parade.  He employed a standard characterization of Peronism as an authoritarian movement, a familiar depiction that no doubt had many Americans nodding along.

The problem is, Professor Ernesto Semán then goes on to excuse the fascism of Argentine President (Dictator) Juan Paron.

This reflects poorly on The Wash Post.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-1, Sat 3.0

Jimmy Who?

For John, BLUFBakersfield, over three times the size of Lowell, seems a long way from LA.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I don't watch Mr Jimmy Kimmel on TV, so I don't know.  But, if the author, Lawyer Trissell, is to be believed, Mr Kimmel is both. And an absolutist.

From The Daily Caller, by Attorney Jeffrey M Trissell, of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, 19 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, Jimmy Kimmel performed a four minute sketch on his television show regarding my law firm’s defense of the religious and free speech rights of Cathy Miller, the owner and operator of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California.  Cathy Miller is a devout Christian.  She believes that God created marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman, and so she believes it is immoral for her to participate in a same-sex wedding.

In August of last year, a same-sex couple came to Tastries.  According to their sworn court statements, they were welcomed by a Tastries employee who “treated us kindly and was very warm.”  However, when it was discovered that they sought a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding, Cathy told them that they could purchase anything in her store, since Tastries welcomes and serves everyone who enters the store, but that she could not make their wedding cake.  Instead, Cathy told them that she would accommodate them by referring their order to a rival bakery with which she had a good relationship.  The same-sex couple then reported Cathy to the California government which brought a lawsuit against her.  The state then also immediately filed for a preliminary order forcing Cathy to either stop make wedding cakes or essentially stop being a Christian.

If Ms Joy Behar is the voice of the Progressives, they dislike Ms Cathy Miller just because she is a Christian.  Maybe it would have been OK if she was Muslim.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Small Towns Can Be Little Miracles

For John, BLUFWe are all in this together.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Sunny Skyz, 18 February 2018.

The town of Goodhue, Minnesota, population 1,000.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Violence Across the World

For John, BLUFWe fall between France and Canada, both with fairly strict gun control laws.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Crime Prevention Research Center, for the period of the Obama Administration.

The lede plus two:

1) In his address to the nation after the Planned Parenthood attack, Obama claimed:  “I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings:  This just doesn’t happen in other countries.”

Senator Harry Reid made a similar statement on June 23rd:  “The United States is the only advanced country where this type of mass violence occurs.  Let’s do something. We can expand, for example, background checks. … We should support not giving guns to people who are mentally ill and felons.”

We prefer not to make purely cross-sectional comparisons, but this claim is simply not true.  The data below looks at the period of time from the beginning of the Obama administration in January 2009 until the end of 2015.  Mass public shootings – defined as four or more people killed in a public place, and not in the course of committing another crime, and not involving struggles over sovereignty.  The focus on excluding shootings that do not involve other crimes (e.g., gang fights or robberies) has been used from the original research by Lott and Landes to more recently the FBI.  We cover the period from the beginning of the Obama administration to the current date, from 2009 to the Charleston massacre (this matches the starting period for another recent study we did on US shootings and we chose that because that was the starting point that Bloomberg’s group had picked).  The cases were complied doing a news search.  The starting year was picked simply because it was the beginning of the Obama administration and it matched the time frame of a recent Bloomberg report (a report that we evaluated here).  A comparison across the entire world is available here.

I am not shocked that Senator Reid got it wrong, but I would have thought President Obama would have been given the facts.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, February 19, 2018

A/G Sessions Moves to Enforce the Rules

For John, BLUFMaybe Attorney General Jeff Sessions is like Riggo, starting slow and then gathering power, like a diesel.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

He tells Maria Bartiromo of Fox News he won't tolerate failure to provide courts all relevant info in seeking approval to spy on U.S. citizens

From Liffezette, by Mr Mark Tapscott, 19 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed Sunday that the Department of Justice is investigating whether the FBI disclosed all relevant facts to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in seeking a warrant to spy on a 2016 Trump campaign volunteer.

“Let me tell you, every FISA warrant based on facts submitted to that court have to be accurate,” Sessions replied when asked by Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo about the controversial FISA warrant application.

“That will be investigated and looked at, and we are not going to participate as a Department of Justice in providing anything less than a proper disclosure to the court before they issue a FISA warrant,” Sessions said.


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mike Flynn is Back

For John, BLUFIt is the old "the Government can lie to you, but you can't lie to the Government" story.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Did Robert Mueller’s office withhold other evidence in Michael Flynn’s prosecution, either from the FISA court or from Flynn’s attorneys?  There is reason to believe so.

From The Federalist, by Ms Margot Cleveland, 19 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order in United States v. Flynn that, while widely unnoticed, reveals something fascinating:  A motion by Michael Flynn to withdraw his guilty plea based on government misconduct is likely in the works.

Just a week ago, and thus before Sullivan quietly directed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to provide Flynn’s attorneys “any exculpatory evidence,” Washington Examiner columnist Byron York detailed the oddities of Flynn’s case.  The next day, former assistant U.S. attorney and National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy connected more of the questionable dots.  York added even more details a couple of days later.  Together these articles provide the backdrop necessary to understand the significance of Sullivan’s order on Friday.

Yes, Judge Emmet Sullivan is one of my heroes.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-1, Fri 0.0

They May Still Be At It.

For John, BLUFThis is one of many Comments with wording just a tad off.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A Russian Troll or Bot?

I received this comment to a blog post.

Yesterday at 10:07 PM

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What Did You Learn at the Revolution, Daddy?":

I always emailed this weblog post page to all my friends, for the reason that if like to read it then my links will too.

Posted by Anonymous to Right-Side-of-Lowell at 2/18/2018 10:07:00 PM

If it wasn't for the Internet Research Agency, and once in a while my wife, I would have no visitors to my blog, oh, and when I troll him, my youngest son.  :-)

Regards  —  Cliff
-1 Thur 2.0

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What Did You Learn at the Revolution, Daddy?

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest there are important lessons to learn from the "Occupy Movement".

For John, BLUFThe "Occupy Movement" of just a short while ago should have educated college age people of the dangers of revolution, especially ones not backed by the Bourgeois.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Conservatives are wrong to deride college courses on the anti-Wall Street protests. Here's a lesson plan and possible reading list.

From The Wall Street Journal (currently behind a paywall), by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, 17 Feb 2018.

Here is the lede:

Schools from New York's Columbia to Chicago's Roosevelt University are offering courses on the "Occupy" movement.  This has inspired some derision from the right, but I think that derision is misplaced.  There is much that a course on the Occupy movement might profitably cover.  Here are some possible lessons:
And here are the six possible lessons, all great:
1) The Higher Education Bubble and Debt Slavery Throughout History.

2) Bourgeois vs. Non-Bourgeois Revolutions.

3) Class struggles and the New Class.

4) Scapegoating and anti-Semitism in mass economic-protest movements.

5) The Fragility of Public Health.

6) Class Differences Within Economic Protest Movements.

Here are the suggested points for item 6:
While the Occupy movement's proletariat were sleeping under canvas, many of its leaders were staying in five-star hotels.  Six-figure sums of money were collected, but their disbursement was cloudy. Does every movement, however egalitarian in doctrine, inevitably produce its own overclass?  Are "egalitarian" movements more prone to such outcomes?  Readings:  George Orwell's "Animal Farm," Li Zhi-Sui's "The Private Life of Chairman Mao."
And here is the final paragraph:
It is likely, of course, that the Occupy courses offered will partake of none of the above, and will instead be tedious, dated mashups of Fanon, Marcuse and Frances Fox Piven. But if students are offered no better than that, it will be the fault of their instructors, not of the subject matter.
Hat tip to Twitter for forwarding.

Regards  —  Cliff

FISA Court Balks

For John, BLUFHere is where separation of powers comes into play.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News' Mr Adam Shaw, 16 Feb 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

The head of a top secret surveillance court, in an unusual letter to GOP lawmakers, seemed to put pressure on the Justice Department to consider releasing documents related to the 2016 surveillance warrant granted against a Trump campaign aide.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was responding to requests from the House Intelligence and House Judiciary committees for transcripts of hearings and other documents related to the applications to spy on Trump aide Carter Page.

Republicans claim the Obama FBI relied heavily on the unverified anti-Trump dossier in their application and failed to adequately disclose the document's Democratic funding.

But in two letters from the court Thursday, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer made clear to Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and his House Judiciary Committee counterpart -- Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. -- that the information would be better obtained from the Justice Department.

“While this analysis is underway, you may note that the Department of Justice possesses (or can easily obtain) the same responsive information the Court might possess, and because of separation of powers considerations, is better positioned than the Court to respond quickly,” Collyer wrote to Nunes.

Collyer added that the court does not object to the Executive Branch giving such information to Congress.  She noted in her other letter that Goodlatte already has made such a request to the DOJ and FBI.

I don't think the FISA Judges want to take the fall for machinations of DOJ, including within the FBI.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, February 17, 2018

For John, BLUFYou knew that after WWII, the Big One, we meddled in European Elections, didn't you?  But, then, Stalin meddled in our elections before and during that war.  Some even think we had a Soviet stooge as Veep, who FDR replaced with Senator Harry Truman.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Posted at the InstaPundit, 17 February 2018, by Researcher Charles Glasser.

Here is the lede plus one:

That said, I thought I would share this little nugget from 2016 — long before Trump allegedly “colluded” with anyone but a porn star:  “In unearthed 2006 audio, Clinton appears to suggest rigging the Palestine election.”  According to The Week, the Most Qualified Candidate Ever said, regarding Palestinian elections:
“And if we were going to push for an election,” Clinton went on, “then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”
I suppose it always depends on whose Gore is being oxed.
"I am shocked, shocked…".

"Your winnings, sir."

If Candidate Trump had a handshake with President Putin, that is one thing.  That Russia was trying to meddle in our elections is another.  That they were careless and broke US laws is still another thing.  That the Russians were successful in sowing political discord in our nation is a serious problem.  Thank you Democrats and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

If You Don't Conform, You Are Smeared

For John, BLUFBeing without party, as Geo Washington hoped for, is probably not protection.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:

"It’s striking to me how many of the architects of this cause seem to be on the autism spectrum: people who don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others."

From Reason, by Reporter Robby Soave, 13 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Nancy MacLean, the Duke University historian who wrote Democracy in Chains, the deeply conspiratorial and much-criticized biography of public choice economist James Buchanan, told an audience in New York last week that Buchanan and other early leaders of the limited-government movement "seem to be on the autism spectrum."

According to MacLean, there is a connection between autism and libertarianism, and that connection is not feeling "solidarity or empathy," and having "kind of difficult human relationships sometimes."  The implication is that libertarianism is similarly cold and unfeeling, and attracts people who don't care about others.

There it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, those of us who believe in limited government are autistic.  At least we don't have Aspergers, which would identify us as a Progressive.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Did Russian Interference Impact the Election?

For John, BLUFAnswer:  "It's Hard to Say".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Five Thirty Eight Blog, by Mr Nate Silver, 16 Feb 2018.

Here is the lede:

One of my least favorite questions is:  “Did Russian interference cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election?”  The question is newly relevant because of special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians on Friday on charges that they used a variety of shady techniques to discourage people from voting for Clinton and encourage them to vote for Donald Trump.  That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to answer, however.  But here are my high-level thoughts in light of the indictment.
Regards  —  Cliff
-1, Sat 5.0

A Random Collection of Thoughts

For John, BLUFThis Russiagate thing and the "intelligence" behind it are a jumbles.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Federalist, by Writer Bre Payton, 2 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Compiled by congressional Republicans.
  1. FBI Used News Articled Sourced By Steele To Corroborate His Dossier
  2. FBI Knew Steele Was Being Paid By DNC, Hillary Clinton, Chose Not To Tell The Court
  3. Without The Steele Dossier, FBI Wouldn’t Have Sought the Warrant To Spy On Carter Page
  4. FBI Spied On Trump’s Associate For Nearly a Year
  5. FBI Dismissed Steele As a Source Soon After It Secured The Initial FISA Warrant
  6. FBI Did Not Tell The Court It Had Dismissed Steele
  7. DOJ Official’s Wife Was Getting Paid By Fusion GPS
I have two points to addd to what the author says:
  1. The FBI spied on Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, for four years and it only stopped when Dr King was assassinated.
  2. My understanding is that, notwithstanding his wife's form of employment, Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is actually one of the good guys in all this.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-1, Sat 5.0

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mr Mueller's "Pit Bull"

For John, BLUFDo you want a "Pit Bull" or do you want a professional, ethical, lawyer?  This is an unforced error.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From her eponymous web site, by Ms Sarah Carter, 15 Feb 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

The top attorney in Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s office was reported to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General by a lawyer representing whistleblowers for alleged “corrupt legal practices” nearly a decade before the 2016 presidential election, this reporter has learned.

Described by the New York Times as Mueller’s ‘pitbull,’ Andrew Weissmann, a former Eastern District of New York Assistant U.S. Attorney, rose through the ranks to eventually become Mueller’s general counsel at the F.B.I.

In 2015 Weissmann was selected to run the Department of Justice’s criminal fraud section and was later handpicked by Mueller to join the ongoing Special Counsel’s Office investigation into the alleged obstruction and alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

If you are going for the President, your shot needs to be clean, otherwise you will carry the opprobrium of your shady operation to your grave and then into history.  To do otherwise would show a sense of self-righteousness that knows no bounds.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Where is Russiagate Going?

For John, BLUFWhat other explanation can there be?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Ms Sarah Hoyt, 16 February 2018.

Here are the key paragraphs:

Oh, by getting children, leftists and low-information voters (yeah, I know, I DO like to repeat myself) to believe that “indictments were handed down” and it’s therefore proven that Trump had Russian help.  By the time the court throws these out on the basis of “First Amendment, morons,” everyone who is very young or on the left, conditions that are often covalent, will be convinced that Trump was in fact helped by Russians and bewildered that he is not being impeached.  And no one on the right will be able to talk to them because Mueller’s propaganda coup will have convinced them that Trump is guilty of collusion, and therefore that the right in the country is in foreign-enemy hands.

Tell me how this doesn’t make Mueller an accomplice in the Russian attempt to divide the U.S. and subvert our system.  Even better, I demand that Mueller explain what other possible purpose he can have in handing down meaningless indictments.

Since his only conceivable purpose is to help Russian psi-ops, he should immediately register as a foreign agent.  And if he won’t, then he should have himself committed, because his actions can’t have any other possible purpose.

Just for your enlightenment, Ms Sarah Hoyt, an American Science Fiction writer, was born in a nation under the leadership of that little known Fascist Dictator, President António de Oliveira Salazar.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-1, Sat 1.5

It is a New World Out There

For John, BLUFLong term relationships should lead to sexual intimacy, not drinks at the local bar.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, by Allahpundit, posted on 13 February 2018.

I did see a suggestion, somewhere, that dating is not about sex, but about getting to know the other person.  The old fashioned term "Courting" sort of captures it.  From my dictionary, "be involved with romantically, typically with the intention of marrying".  Thus it is not about getting gratuitous sex.  It is about establishing a long term relationship.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Are We Becoming French?

For John, BLUFAbout French President Francois Mitterrand, when he was buried both his wife and his long term mistress were at grave side.  Pity the poor undertaker.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, with a Comment by Mr Roger L Simon, 16 Feb 2018.

Here is the blurb from Mr Roger Simon:

I awoke to the unsurprising news that Donald Trump had an affair with a Playmate.  As a Trump supporter, it didn't make me feel good.  It's not enough to say "Well, Clinton did it."  Or any of a hundred others, for that matter.  We have to examine who we are.  In other words, are we French?  I can remember some years ago standing on the balcony of a French movie producer (female) that overlooked the Elysee Palace.  We were all having cocktails before dinner.  Suddenly a large state helicopter arose from the palace.  "What's that?" I asked my host.  "It is Mitterand going to his mistress," she said, completely casually.  "Every day at this time."  It was part of the culture.  The French completely separated public and private life and mocked Americans for being so bourgeois as to connect them.  But do we?  The stock market, on a march to recovery, barely burped this morning at the latest Trump news.  (I'm sure it would have been the other way if the tax plan were rescinded.)  Nevertheless, it's a problem.  Actually, we're hypocrites -- on a ton of levels.  For the moment, however, I'm more concerned with the suborning of the FBI for political purposes than I am with anybody's affairs.  That's ultimately more dangerous, by yards.  Still, this is disturbing.
Like Roger, I am "more concerned with the suborning of the FBI for political purses than I am with anybody's affairs."  But, still, I would like my Presidents, and others, to be more discrete in their extramarital affairs.  I don't want these United States to turn into France, as then Secretary of State Jefferson Davis would have it.

Note that Mr Simon is able to write using short sentences, something of which today's journalists are not capable.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Wed 6.0

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ultimate Valentine

For John, BLUFI guess this is addressed to God.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Cartoon Mutts for 14 February 2018, Valentines Day.

In the single frame Mooch, the cat, is in the arms of his owner, Millie. 

The caption, if that is what we would call it, reads:

I love you-
I am at rest
with you-
I have come home.

          Dorothy L. Sayers

Hat tip to The [Lowell] Sun.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Who ever "owns" a cat?

The Dog

For John, BLUFGreat Video.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"... is a speech delivered in an insignificant court case while he was still a lawyer in rural Missouri."

At the Top Link is a link to the speech as reproduced by Actor Ronald Reagan.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Leading Edge of Turning Ugly

For John, BLUFIf Democrats are behind this and are in fear of exposure, this could get real ugly.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

No Writer is listed, but this is an Editorial from Investor's Business Daily, 13 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Whenever anyone suggested that officials at the FBI and Justice Department might have had a political bias that severely tainted both the investigation into the Trump-Russia and Hillary Clinton email scandals, they were called conspiracy-mongers or worse.

But if the FBI and Justice are so squeaky clean of political bias, what accounts for the growing pile of top officials deeply involved in those supposedly aboveboard investigations who've been reassigned, demoted or have suddenly quit their jobs? There have been nearly half a dozen in just the past few weeks. Thankfully, reporter Sharyl Attkisson has been keeping a running tally.

For me the worrying thing is not an impeachment of President Trump with a new (and Democratic Party controlled Congress), but rather an implosion of the Democratic Party caused by the revelation that supposedly politically neutral Government Officials, including long term Professional Civil Servants, had decided that Candidate Donald Trump was a threat to the Republic and used the tools available to Government to spy on him and to defame him  That would mark us as a Third Rate Banana Republic.

I am counting on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to play it straight—"Truth, Justice and the American Way."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy …

For John, BLUFLove is in the air and we know God loves us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Happy Valentines Day


Happy Ash Wednesday

Pick one, or pick both.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Sun 0.0

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Contrasts That Don't Square

For John, BLUFIn the mainstream media the woman who works with her evil step-brother, who had her brother killed in a Singapore Airport, is cool, but Mr Donald Trump is frightening?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

When a member of the most brutal regime on earth is treated like the belle of the Olympic ball, the media needs to stop worrying about normalizing Trump.

Normalizing as in making to appear normal.

From The Federalist, by Mr David Marcus, 13 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Ever since he assumed residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, progressives have insisted there is a great danger in normalizing Donald Trump.  The argument goes that he is so immoral and dangerous that coverage of him must always place him in this context.  This, in large part, is why so many conservatives were flummoxed by some of our nation’s biggest news outlets’ fawning coverage of Kim Yo-Jong, the sister of Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, during the winter Olympics.

The New York Times told us that with a winning smile she had diplomatically outflanked U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.  CNN gushed over her stealing the show with her North Korean charm offensive, and told us that North Korea was “winning the Olympics, not because of sports.”  This coverage, which a cynic might imagine is meant to make President Trump and his approach to North Korea look bad, can also be credibly accused of normalizing one of the most brutal dictatorships on the planet.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Fri 5.0

Comey and Ethics

For John, BLUFMr Comey is writing a book on ethics?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Reinhold Niebuhr.  No, not a German immigrant, but born in Wright City, Missouri, the son of German immigrants.

Not to be confused with the Rev Richard John Neuhaus.

From The Washington Post, by Ms Michelle Boorstein, 6 November 2017.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, February 11, 2018

If only

For John, BLUFAlternative history is fun fiction, but a bad analytic tool.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the Blog Post, but this post is about one of the comments:

"Had Fox News existed — and been essentially the state-run TV — during the Nixon era, there might not have been an impeachment of Richard Nixon."

Said Adam Schiff on Bill Maher's show last night.
That is the total blog post by Professor Althouse.

Here is one of the 208 Comments to date:

Had the allied Greek forces not defeated the Persians at Plataea and Mycale, history might have been quite different.

Of course, the Greeks defeating the Persians is emblematic of White Patriarchal Oppression and White Supremacy.

Naturally. 2/10/18, 1:48 PM

(Battle of Plataea (479 BC) and Battle of Mycale, the same day.)

Exactly.  Well, except the word is "Caucasian".

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Thu 3.0

Friday, February 9, 2018

More Shuffling at Justice

For John, BLUFIf you don't examine news reports you are possibly being played.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Reporter Katie Benner, 9 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country’s top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two people briefed on her decision.

Ms. Brand’s profile had risen in part because she is next in the line of succession behind the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel’s inquiry into Russian influence in the 2016 election.  Mr. Trump, who has called the investigation a witch hunt, has considered firing Mr. Rosenstein.

Such a move could have put her in charge of the special counsel and, by extension, left her in the cross hairs of the president.

The President has considered firing Mr Rosenstein?  The President has probably considered firing everyone, including Reporter Katie Banner and NYT Publisher A. G. Sulzberger.  It is the age of hypertext.  Where is the link to the story to shows definitively that the President was considering firing Mr Rosenstein?  Is this just sloppy work or it is speculation posing as journalism?

The story reports that Ms Brand is moving on to be the top lawyer for Walmart, their Director of Global Governance.  I wonder about this.  Maybe Mr Sam Walton is running a false flag operation for Mr Trump, drawing Ms Brand away from DOJ.

By the way, the last paragraph raises more questions than it answers:

Ms. Brand’s assistant, Currie Gunn, has also left the department.  Ms. Gunn could not be reached for comment.
Unless, of course, this transition in Ms Brand's life is fairly long planned and this is all just normal transitions.

Here is the next to the last paragraph:

But Ms. Brand has also become embroiled in the feud between the president and the nation’s law enforcement agencies.  Reports that Mr. Trump had tried to fire Mr. Mueller and had considered firing Mr. Rosenstein raised questions of who would replace Mr. Rosenstein.
This is the penultimate paragraph.  At last a Link to an article that includes a paragraph on the assertion that the President considered firing Mr Rosenstein.

More important, in what day did Ms Brand "become embroiled"?&nbswp; Another equation with the solution left for the reader.

I am not aure I am any smarter now than when I started reading the headline.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Responses to Provocations

For John, BLUFIt is like when you are young and your younger sibling is trying to provoke you.  You want to slug the dear, but that might not be the proper response.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Atlantic, by Reporter Uri Friedman, 7 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

How will the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons end?  Will Kim Jong Un buckle under pressure and roll back his nuclear program, or will he press forward in completing an arsenal that can threaten the whole world?  Will Donald Trump make good on his threats to take military action against the North, or will he focus on deterring Kim from ever using his nukes?

It's impossible to answer these questions with certainty.  But it's possible to find clues in the historical record.  And history suggests that the current crisis is unlikely to devolve into fighting—that the more probable outcome is one or both leaders backing down and reaching a compromise.

Long before North Korea was antagonizing America with missile and nuclear tests, it was seizing American spy ships, downing American planes, and hacking American soldiers to death.  In 2007, the Congressional Research Service catalogued well over 100 North Korean provocations against the United States and its allies over the previous 57 years, ranging in severity from the digging of a cross-border tunnel to the invasion of South Korea in 1950.  That invasion sparked a three-year war that left millions dead. Since then, however—from the bombing of a South Korean airplane in 1987 to the more recent sinking of a South Korean warship and shelling of a South Korean island in the same year—no North Korean provocation has resulted in a major military conflict.

There is the long history, at the link embedded above, to the shorter history in the article, but here is the article's conclusion:
Donald Trump has argued that episodes such as the Pueblo and EC-121 crises have led the Kim regime to interpret "America's past restraint as weakness"—and that it "would be a fatal miscalculation" for Kim to draw the same conclusions this time around.  But Trump nonetheless confronts the same conundrum that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton all confronted well before North Korea had nuclear weapons.  To paraphrase Henry Kissinger, the least-risky military options are insufficient to meet the challenge from North Korea and the sufficient military options are very risky.  And even if the military plans are limited, the planners must be prepared for unlimited war on the Korean peninsula.  Since the horror of the Korean War, no U.S. leader has been willing to assume those risks. Not yet, at least.
My strategic advice to the President is to stick with deterrence and sanctions, but to be ready to support South Korea in any response needed to a provocation.  If Kim Jung-un attacks the US or Japan then we should go with a proportional response led by the US.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Sun 4.10

  Worth what he paid for it.

Using Diversity For Advantage

For John, BLUF"You end up with firms recognizing that cognitive diversity is a strategic asset."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An interview with University of Michigan Professor Scott Page, author of a new book, The Diversity Bonus:  How Great Teams Pay Off In The Knowledge Economy.

Here is how the article starts out:

Knowledge@Wharton:  What drove you to research this topic?

Page:  It’s a little bit of a C.P. Snow moment.  He was the British academic who said there are two academies: science and arts.  Within the University of Michigan or almost any university, you’ve got people in the humanities and in the arts and philosophy departments talking about the need for inclusion on normative grounds, a sort of moral case for a more integrated society.  Over in computer science and ecology and business, there are all these people showing in a knowledge economy this incredible value from people who have different perspectives, different ways of looking at problems, different tools.

On one side of campus, there’s a whole bunch of people talking about the pragmatic benefits of diversity.  On the other side, people are talking about the normative benefits.  They weren’t communicating with one another.  I saw this as a real opportunity for a fruitful conversation.

Knowledge@Wharton:  Don’t you think this “right thing to do” mindset about diversity feels a little patronizing?

Scott Page:  It does in a way.  We want our firm to look like America or have people that come from all these different categories, as opposed to asking whether we are bringing in people who can help us fulfill our mission or be better at whatever it is that we do as an organization.

Well, he had me at C P Snow, one of my heroes from my youth.

Here is the sum of the argument.  If your job is to take down trees, you want the best ten lumberjacks, regardless of race, creed or nation of origin.  If you are working on a project with a lot of complexity, from designing a new building to developing social media to building a space launch vehicle, you need diversity of input because of all the "what ifs" you have to deal with, including the unknowns that someone from a different background might have a clue about.  And, you need free discussion, so you don't miss the "O Ring" problem.

Hat tip to Wharton Knowledge.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Sun 0.0

  There is a Lowell connection here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What Does the IG Know?

For John, BLUFMaybe.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Ms Morgan Chalfant, 6 Feb 2018.

We are talking about the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, or IG.

The Office of the Inspector General specific to the United States Department of Justice that is responsible for conducting nearly all of the investigations of DOJ employees and programs.  The office has several hundred employees, reporting to the Inspector General.  The present Inspector General is Michael E. Horowitz, who has held the post since 2012.
Here is the lede plus four:
Few people have heard of Michael Horowitz, but that’s about to change.

Horowitz, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, is an increasingly critical player in the controversy surrounding the FBI, President Trump and the Russia investigation.

With little fanfare, he has been conducting a sprawling probe of the FBI’s handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.  His full report, which could set off shockwaves, is expected by the early spring.

A political appointee in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Horowitz’s yearlong investigation already reportedly contributed to the early resignation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.  And his work has been felt in other ways.

Horowitz also uncovered a series of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that led special counsel Robert Mueller to remove Strzok from his team.  Those texts have fueled accusations among GOP lawmakers that Mueller’s probe is tainted by partisanship.

This may be just a little blip, but it could mushroom.  The question is, do we have a conspiracy or do we have incompetence.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Sat 1.0

The People vs the Parties

For John, BLUFI know that the bien-pensant like to think the plebs are an ignorant lot, but they would be wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There aren't two Americas. There are hundreds. Can they get along?

Ms Salena Zito is a columnist for The Washington Examiner, 6 February 2018.

Ms Zito interviews Derek, who didn't vote for Candidate Trump.  Derek, an African-American, didn't want his name out there, because of what happens on social media.

Here is the last paragraph:

Derek’s conclusion was interesting.  “Whenever you make up your mind what you don’t want to like about him, let me know.  But don’t be walk around being surprised if the elections don’t turn out to be what you want them to be.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Fri 4.0

Monday, February 5, 2018

Meeting the Domestic Enemy

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest that even Deplorables are also humans.

For John, BLUFWhen you have a visceral hatred, it colors things….  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A column from the Charlotte Observer, via The Tampa Bay Times, by Ms Ruth Mayer, 2 February 2018.

It is a short read and didn't go the way I expected.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Teaming Up

For John, BLUF"… be wary of unintended consequences."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Mr Kyle Smith, 3 February 2018.

Here is the lede:

Men are scared, and feminists are delighted.  But the urge to call out and punish male sexual transgression is bound to clash with an inescapable truth:  We’re all in this together, men and women.
First off, men acting like cads is wrong.  Women are not out there to be abused.  They are part of a team made up of men and women.  The team does better when everyone is helping everyone else do well.

But, the second point is as important as the first.  Markets are about adapting and when men feel that working too closely with women is dangerous many of them will pull back, making things less efficient and effective.

Here is the second paragraph of the article:

Consider what’s happening in the capital of Florida.  Female staffers and lobbyists have found “many male legislators will no longer meet with them privately,” reported The Miami Herald.  “I had a senator say, ‘I need my aide here in the room because I need a chaperone,’ ” lobbyist Jennifer Green told the paper.  “I said, ‘Senator, why do you need a chaperone? . . . Do you feel uncomfortable around me?’  ‘Well,’ he said, ‘anyone can say anything with the door shut.’ ”
Remember, a year ago, when Veep Mike Pence was being belittled for not meeting alone with women?

We need to cut a deal.  I suspect it starts with men going back to old fashioned politeness, gentlemanly responses to situations.

Women need to not overreach at this moment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThe animosity we see amongst California Reps to Congress seems well out of proportion to the situation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Why do Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff seem to hate Representative Devin Nunes so much?

Up in the San Francisco area is Representative Nancy Pelosi, of California's 12th congressional district.  The 12th is contained within the City of San Francisco.

Down in the LA area we have Congressman Adam Schiff, of California's 28th congressional district.  Places like Burbank, Glendale, the Verdugo Hills communities of Sunland and Tujunga, West Hollywood as well as parts of central Los Angeles including Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake and Little Armenia.

And we have, in the middle, Congressman Devin Nunes, of California's 22nd congressional district.  The 22nd congressional district is centered in the San Joaquin Valley, in Fresno and Tulare counties. The district includes most of eastern Fresno, as well as all of Clovis, Tulare, and Visalia.

The easy answer is that Ms Pelosi and Mr Schiff are Democrats and Mr Nunes is a Republican.  Implacable opposition to President Trump.  Never Trump!

Maybe it is because Ms Pelosi and Mr Schiff are what Lowellians call "blow ins", while Mr Nunes is that rare animal, a born and bred Californian.

But, maybe it is economics, with Ms Pelosi and Mr Schiff being from "lily pad" Democratic Party urban areas and Mr Nunes being from a farming community area.  Urban vs Rural.

Northern California Region (dark green) / Northern Sacramento Valley Region (Light Green) / Greater Sacramento (yellow) / Bay Area (Red) / Central Coast (orange) / San Joaquin Valley Region (green) / Central Sierra Region (brown) / Southern California Region (light blue) / Southern Border Region (purple)

On the other hand, it could be that Ms Pelosi and Mr Schiff represent areas with low religious affinity and Mr Nunes represents an area with high religious affinity.  The big green and brown blob half way up the state of California.

Whatever it is, there isn't much love lost here.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Constitutional Crisis!!!!!

For John, BLUFPeople like Nikki keep voting to keep her as their leader in the House.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from CBS New, out of Chicago, 2 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted President Donald Trump and House Republicans for their decision to release a controversial four-page memo alleging abuse of surveillance authority by the Justice Department and the FBI, saying it could ultimately cause a “constitutional crisis.”

“He has abdicated his responsibilities as commander in chief to protect the American people by protecting our intelligence sources and the rest,” she said of Trump. ““If the president uses this fake, horrible release of distorted intelligence as an excuse to fire [deputy attorney general Rod] Rosenstein or [special counsel Robert] Mueller, it could lead to a constitutional crisis.”

Why would President Trump fire either one?

The thing is, President Trump strikes me as someone who would fire someone he thought needed firing without looking around on his desk for some special justification.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Like Caesar's Wife

For John, BLUFThe FBI is going to need a strong leader, like J Edgar, moving forward, but with more ethics and more respect for the Constitution and in particular the Bill of Rights.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is from The Old Gray Lady, the institution that used to lead the charge for freedom of speech and openness.

The author of this OpEd is former Special Agent Josh Campbell, from 2 February 2018.

I would be a lot more impressed with this cri de coeur if there was a mention of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, or some of the botched prosecutions where the Brady Rule was violated.

And, there is the sense, outside of Main Justice, that there is a certain arrogance on the inside, a certain sense that they are in charge.  My prime example is Acting Attorney General Ms Sally Yates, who, when she couldn't agree with the President, defied him, rather than tendering her resignation.  She should have talked to Special Agent Campbell.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Your Choice

For John, BLUFIn the end you can think there is an evil force out there (from your siblings to God) which is holding you back, but it is all on you, in the end.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Medium, by Ms Brittany Hunter, 23 January 2018.

Me explaining it is not as good as you reading it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Opposition to Free Speech Continues

For John, BLUFReminds me of the "destroy the village in order to save it" thinking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writing for The Hoover Institute, Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 31 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

A public event with the eminent scientist and rationalist Richard Dawkins was cancelled late last year by a Berkeley radio station.  A spokesman for the station said that Dawkins had “said things that I know have hurt people,” a misleading allusion to the atheist Dawkins’s forthright criticism of Islam which, along with all religions, he regards as irrational.  The station’s general manager declared:  “We believe that it is our free speech right not to participate with anyone who uses hateful or hurtful language against a community that is already under attack.”

This is only one of the more recent in a string of dis-invitations of public figures on North American college campuses.  Following the violence at Charlottesville in August last year, free speech has become a thornier subject.  But no matter how evil, all speech is protected by the Constitution, even that of Antifa and white nationalists.  The cliché that sunlight is the best disinfectant holds true.  By allowing these groups to express themselves out in the open, we can clearly see what they are saying, and, if we disagree, counter it.

I am among those who have been “de-platformed” for speaking critically about the political and ideological aspects of Islam that are not compatible with American values and human rights.  The usual justification for disinviting us is that speaking critically of Islam is “hate speech” that is “hurtful” to Muslims.

However, this use of the words “hate” and “hurt” to silence debate is contrary to the Western tradition of critical thinking.  It is not hyperbolic to say that this is the pathway to censorship and the closing of the Western mind.

Here is the thing.  If you are against free speech you are a Fascist or a Stalinist (or a Trotskyite).  Most likely, today, in the US, you claim to be "Antifa".  You are a person who is against the idea that people can think for themselves and just need access to all the information.  If you are against free speech for all you are one of those people trying to destroy the idea of democracy in order to put forward some higher order, where the bien pensant tell the plebs how to think.  Don't be that kind of person.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Horror of it All

For John, BLUFRemember when there was the horror at the FBI doing secret surveillance on the Rev Martin Luther King?  The FBI (and other intelligence agencies) need Congressional oversight.  Do Democrat Congresscritters not realize this?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Yorker, 2 February 2018, by Mr Andy Borowitz.

The headline says it all.

Regards  —  Cliff
-2, Tue 0.0

Friday, February 2, 2018

Waiting for The Memo (or Godot)

For John, BLUFIt could be everything, or it could be nothing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is The Onion asking the hard questions.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff